Praescient Analytics is honored to be recognized as not only a women owned small business, but to identify as a veteran owned small business as well. Since its inception in 2011, Praescient has hired over one hundred veterans whom represent sixty percent of the company’s workforce and is proudly headed by Iraqi War veteran CEO Katie Crotty. In honor of this upcoming Veteran’s Day on November 11th, Praescient would like to highlight the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) REACH VET, or Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health ー Veterans Enhanced Treatment program. This outreach program is a manifestation of one of the VA’s highest priorities, suicide prevention, and aims to preemptively identify at-risk veterans.
Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than their civilian counterparts due to multiple mental and physical stressors. Each year the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) provides services to over six million veterans. Veterans receiving VHA care have substantial health service needs and many qualify for services based on recent separation from military service, limited financial means, or service-related disabilities. Mental health conditions can be associated with greater suicide risk, and may be more prevalent among VHA eligible veterans who rely on VHA mental health services. In combination, these factors can help explain why veterans who seek VHA care have higher suicide rates than other veterans.
The VHA’s almost 500 suicide prevention coordinators and thousands of primary health care providers and primary health care providers work directly with veterans daily. Research is conducted through the use of a continuously updated a predictive model that harnesses massive computing power. More specifically, REACH VET uses data within veteran’s health records to analyze and identify patients who face a statistically elevated risk for suicide, illness, hospitalization, or other adverse outcomes. The result is the synthesis of billions of data points run through the algorithm to create a predictive model. Once a patient is flagged using this system, a qualified health care provider is notified and uses pre-emptive support and care to take the next steps needed to address each individual veteran, often times before a veteran feels suicidal urges.
The program was fully launched in February 2017, and a study identified the six-month outcomes of patients identified between March and May of the programs launch year which demonstrated results of the program. In comparison to control groups, patients who engaged with REACH VET demonstrated an increase in attendance of health care and mental health appointments, greater completion of suicide prevention safety plans and all-cause mortality (death caused by disease or harmful exposure). Initial outcomes show positive effects of the program, moving forward REACH VET will continue to improve the program by: updating the REACH VET predictive model, continuing to streamline clinical processes to improve efficiency, sharing risk data with other VHA informatics platforms, and expanding the use of predictive analytics for decision support through multiple pathways.
February 2020 will mark the 3rd year anniversary of the program, and Dr. Caitlin Thompson, National Director of VA’s Office for Suicide Prevention said, “REACH VET is a game changer in our effort to reduce veteran suicide. Early intervention can lead to better recovery outcomes, lessen the likelihood of challenges becoming crises and reduce the stress that veterans and their loved ones face.” The tremendous potential of this program gives us hope that veteran suicide can be addressed in its entirety. In recognition of all veterans who will be honored this upcoming Veterans Day, Praescient is proud to participate in the veteran community. Our services, work and employees strive to serve a testament to sacrifices made by veterans today and every day. Praescient stands ready to be of assistance in any way necessary, and we are proud to proactively support our veteran employees and the veteran community as a whole.